Nature & Humanity Connection

For me, honouring a nature scene with paint and brush comes with responsibility.  

My specialty is delivering emotional content of the landscape, in that specific moment in time. 

In order to transport you to a specific place and moment involves understanding how emotions respond to subject, light, colour and shape. Careful observation helps to achieve this.  It requires clever composition and knowledge in how to declutter or soften the noise of a scene. What information to keep, what to ignore, is one of the biggest challenges.

A selection of my work with my research photos beside these paintings is below shows you how I find my way in a painting.

Energy and emotion can be relayed in colour values, brushstrokes, definition, and focus. When I am in nature, I am absorbing information, tapping into emotion and focus on the energy around me.

My work is not always site specific. The large Killarney painting is a perfect example. ( available for purchase, shown in collection photo above with desk )

Like many who witness these beautiful shores, I was taken with the warmth and colour of the amazing red rock. The day we hiked to this particular outcropping it was overcast with rain on the horizon. 

The northern skies can be really amazing. I thought about how often this area is painted by so many, with primary focus on the rocks and shore. as in this 8×10 I painted below.

What if I created a large painting of this area, focusing on the sky, on a beautiful transformational sky with the shores secondary? It would be unique and a testament to the amazing skies often seen in the north. Painting it in soft palettes and realistic brushstrokes would contrast with the shore.  

The area has many lovely little islands of these gorgeous rocks, dotted with windswept pine, that you don’t always see from a chosen vantage point. I wanted to convey their abundant continuance, so I included them in this scene. In this way, the painting isn’t site specific, yet it honours the region, and those beautiful sky scapes.

Being present in nature, we don’t always witness the all the beauty before us. Attention depends on personal mood, time spent, etc. While moving in the landscape, focus may be on the path ahead. 

The concept of transporting you to a landscape artfully, is to allow you to be present in a way you may not have been able to in person. It’s an offering to observe motion, colour, light, movement, and to be emotionally connected. To be included. You have the unique opportunity to be still, and yet be engaged, immersed in nature at the same time. 

Originals “Mountain”, “Sky and Rocks”, 4ft x 3ft $4,750. each, collections of 8×10’s shown available for purchase. $550 each.

Limited inventory is available. I will not be picking up the brush to paint again for some time.  I’m happy to assist you building your collection, or selecting gift purchases. Please contact me with your selections, or to further inquire about what is available.

More on the Art of Story

A wonderful benefit from purchasing or sharing original art & craft, is that it is often accompanied by a story. It may be the story of the maker, their inspiration, materials, or of the item itself. The story evolves to include the collectors story, why this piece is special to them. Stories can connect the collector more deeply to the experience of the piece, and reflect value. 

Possible Dialogues: “I bought this on ebay.” OR, “ I purchased this from a 4th generation craftsman who lived on the shores of the mediterranean,” They may be the same price, yet the second may be treasured, along with it’s story, in a very different way. It will become a part of the family’s connection and legacy. 

What’s really fascinating for me, is how much people crave narrative. We are rooted in story. 

I started this blog because it was required by collectors, dealers and fans. “it is no longer acceptable to just reveal art. We want stories. If you don’t want to share painting stories, give us something else.” It was a challenge I am still figuring out. Your positive response to my last post is encouraging that sometimes, I get it right. 

Sharing art, craft, traditions, and story may strengthen family bonds, and help introduce new perspectives. Infusing our lives with what is made by someone’s loving hands, and re telling the story, can help us feel grounded in our humanity. They remind us of our resilience, and innovativeness.

Storytelling, in itself, is an ancient and artistic craft.

One of my fondest memories from living in the north is of the Yukon Storytelling festival.
When a friend suggested attending, I had visions of rambling ‘ big fish’ tales onstage.
A karaoke for talkers.
I couldn’t have been more inaccurate.

The seeds for the festival sprouted in the 1980’s when one of the Yukon’s last Tagish speakers shared her stories to a global audience in Toronto.
The Yukon Storytelling festival began in 1988, growing to include storytellers from all over the world, with an emphasis on First Nation and circumpolar countries.

The festival hosts professional ‘tellers’, who are as diverse as the crowd. Stories range in mythical or true events, often moving, educational, or funny.
Visualize sort of an outdoor inspirational Ted Talk, without the big screen and cushy seats.

Perched on a grassy knoll under a canvas tent that balmy summer evening, captivated, we witnessed inspiring flawlessly performed stories.

The event had a wonderful ancient primitive pull to how we shared stories in the past, gathered in tents or caves, around campfires, or in Grandma’s kitchen.

Stories weave us together in history. A powerful educational tool, stories are an evolving tapestry of society and culture.

Art began before the written word, as a form of communication, sharing stories, myths & legends.
Painting in it’s own right is an amazing conduit of connection, a story without words, inviting the viewer to participate.


These will be the last new paintings for quite awhile, as I prepare to move next month. It takes 3 weeks or more for art to dry, in order to transport, it’s time to clean up the studio. 

I would love to hear from you. Please check my recent posts and instagram for available to purchase, including these 3 new pieces. email me

Deer”- a familiar and favourite landscape of mine to paint. I have always wanted to attempt it with the deer I often see on the horizon.Also, Introducing a new colour for me, India Yellow by Gamblin.  DEER is 18×24 ~ $1330.oo

Sunflower” 5×7 $400.oo

Calla Lilies ( Peace Lily)~ 8×8 $500.oo

( Yukon painting, not for sale ~ gifted )

~ Top photo STORIES~ The DEER reference and my affinity for them is made early on in this photo, Growing up in Provincial Parks, we occasionally assisted wildlife on their journey. This young fawn needed help when it lost its mother. I remember bottle feeding it, and being so thrilled with this gentle little spirit. The animals were never pets, they were nurtured and returned back to the wild when they were able.

Second photo~ enjoying the lake with a cousin in one of the parks we lived. Growing up in nature has influenced my work in so many ways, not just subject matter. I am forever grateful to our parents for giving us such a remarkable life experience.

Sharing Inspiration

 I have never really understood envy.

I believe, jealousy of and wanting someone else’s life, is also to take on their suffering. Everyone has suffering. 

So you exchange your suffering for theirs.. and theirs can be much much greater. 

In my work and life experience,I have encountered diverse people from unique backgrounds, countries, cultures. I have met people of great wealth, and poverty. Both can be a burden. I know people of breath taking beauty, athleticism, and power. All have been misunderstood, judged unfairly and known disappointment and grief.

One artist who influenced me the most in my artistic path, is one of the greatest, most skilled painters I have ever met. A handsome man, with a career as a professional athlete, he is also an accomplished musician, who played with a famous Canadian band, before he focused on art. 

You might say he had it all. 

But what people may see on the outside, is only a small part of his story and his path. One that most people will never know.

He gave up his dream of being a teacher, quitting university, to take care of his dying mother. He worked two jobs to provide for them both while he cared for all her needs. He gave up his music career around the same time in a selfless act.

He lives life facing constant ignorant discrimination. Witnessing this kind of cruel treatment of him, over and over again, broke my heart. Yet, he never reacted in anger or in defence. He always chose to react in kindness.

Inspiration can come in many forms, as his inspiration does for me.

On the flip side of jealousy, choosing to rejoice in others success’s can fuel inspiration. 

Recognizing it is a choice can be pivotal. It can also be cathartic for your own happiness & success

Some theorists believe what is good for one, is good for the tribe. When one succeeds, we all benefit in some way. Like love, the more we offer it, express, show it, sincerely, the more it seems to float all around us in different ways. 

Others success proves it’s possible, and opens doors for us to make it possible too. 

That’s one important key in inspiration, possibility. 

I encourage people to share their success. Why is it we can be quick to share hard news, vent frustrations, yet be reluctant to share the happy stuff? 

Happy news is hopeful.

Some are silent about sharing success, feeling its a form of bragging. 

When it’s sincere sharing, how could it be? The more good stuff we share, the more we create, and it helps ease the hard stuff.

Please, let your good news ring out from the rooftops.

When you have nailed that painting, run, project, I’m rejoicing with you. When you have been accepted at the gallery, a new grandbaby, won the race, sold your business for a huge profit, met your love, built your dream, I get sparkly happy juices running right thru me and celebrate your awesomeness.

Letting others know how you are doing, that’s real life, and every story can transpire inspiration. A burden shared is a burden is lessened. Sharing happy stuff can relieve that burden too. It takes gratitude, belief, hope for your own journey, and perhaps for some, releasing self destructive, pointless jealousy.

Let’s ride that wave of joy together, and make the world a better, happier, more inspiring place. 


All work is available for purchase~ including special paintings from my family’s collection. Please email me for sizing. Last year pricing listed on website still apply.

Sense of Home

Popularity of Marie Kondo’s Joy of tidiness, footprint reduction efforts and working remotely sparked a resurgence in minimalistic living in the last decade.

Varying generations freed themselves of life clutter and focused on conscious consumerism. Some radically reduced to live permanently on the road with one suitcase. Blogs focused on living in a van, off grid or tiny home are commonplace.

Reflections from extreme minimalists include drawbacks, with feelings of a lack of sense of place, and lack of feeling grounded. Regrets noted were giving away or selling irreplaceable items, and not having space for joyful activities and hobbies. 

Even if you aren’t living out of a backpack, extreme minimal interiors can feel impersonal, even sterile. They may lack a feeling of comfort, familiarity, and sense of home.

Though De cluttering and conscious consumerism are wonderfully positive, going to extremes can have a less than positive effect.  One blogger who gave up her extreme minimal life, missed things and activities of value. She wrote “Getting rid of stuff doesn’t reduce stress if your stress is unrelated to owning stuff.”

Downsizing healthfully can be unburdening. If it’s to an extreme where one is deprived of a sense of place, loved things or heirlooms, it can feel punishing, affecting mental & emotional health. 

The minimalist trend actually began in the 50’s and 60’s. According to Minimalism made simple 

It’s interesting the first mention is of Art. 

Art is deeply personal, and an easy way to infuse your space with individuality and warmth.

Art can be a comfort in times of transition, especially if that transition is unexpected, or stressful.

When I helped my Dad move into a nursing home last summer, I did my best to replicate his surroundings with his choices of favourite  furnishings, art, clothing, etc. 

I took reference photos so knew exactly where to place little knick knacks and pictures. I organized books on his bookshelf in the order they had been previously. 

Being surrounded by his favourite treasures, books and art helped to make the move less stressful.

Anyone can apply this concept to make a move to a new home an easier transition. Waking up to see familiar things in familiar places brings a sense of comfort. Peppering surroundings with new acquisitions can be coupled with a sense of ritual. This kind of sense of ceremony if often overlooked in how we introduce new things into our spaces. This act pairs the familiar and new for happy beginnings, and honours a sense of sanctuary. 

We are visual creatures, so art plays an important part.

If the move is one of necessity because of toxic relationships, or home, a positive action during  transition may be to collect a few new pieces of art, and place them in focal point areas. The subject matter is important as well, as Marie Kondo says, that which “sparks joy” is key.

New Water has sold ~ New Flowers, Moonlight, and Island all available for purchase, please email me at for details. Tundra shown in clients home.

Mother Nature

Her creative pursuits were diverse. Mom sewed and knit all of our clothes often without using a pattern. Our home was filled with her creations. Her sewing arts and needlecraft were displayed on the walls, macramé woven by her hand held household plants. Lamps she formed in ceramics sat on mid century tables and blankets she knit were neatly folded on couches. She was rarely without a camera in her hand, and loved many forms of music. 

We were transferred often with Dad’s work as a conservation officer in parks. Mom wall papered, painted and decorated every house we lived in, no matter how short the stay. 

“Make your home where ever you are.”She would say. When I think about it now, it’s amazing her time and effort creating an amazing home environment, while balancing household responsibilities, raising two children and her nursing career.

Above all her passions, one of her great loves was gardening. She planted gardens where ever we lived and in all the parks public spaces. Her creativity shone in plantings. 

One steadfast rule Mom had when planting a garden was “It has to survive without me.”

She believed in planting for the land, as much as for who would enjoy it. Plants had to be natural to the region and drought tolerant.

When my parents built their dream home, designed by my Mom and her brother, above the shores of Manitou, they spent 5 years creating an amazing xeriscape garden sanctuary.  

“Because watering lawns is one of the largest water wastes that exists,” Mom said, the yard was void of one. Built with sand pathways that wound and climbed among gardens, trees and shrubs, it drew butterflies, humming birds, and curious tourists. Community in Blooms awarded my parents the xeriscaping award of the year, several years in a row.

Mom lived an active healthy lifestyle. Her philosophy in thriving meant focus included how we live, function in indoor and outdoor spaces. Importance was on functional happy homes filled with handmade creations, and gardens that welcomed all. She believed healthy living encompassed  how we treat ourselves and the land where we live with thoughtful respect. “We don’t really own the land,” she would say, “we are simply caretakers.”

Wellbeing Interiors

‘I felt like I was walking into someone else’s home”, a friend confided after styling her new apartment like one in a magazine.

“It just doesn’t feel like me.” She said. “and all those decorative baskets just get dusty.”

Interior choices benefit beyond aesthetic, and a ‘one size fits all’ concept diminishes individuality . Interior design should be as personal and unique as you are. 

Mountain 4ftx3ft $4780.oo

Spacial flow, elements in design, functionality and collections have a direct influence on health and well being. Key to orchestrating a positive experience is to knowing yourself, and experimenting with what feels right. Once you’ve established great functional flowing spaces, you can make selections to enhance experience. 

 Creating your home environment based on individuality is empowering.  I have witnessed this in art collectors. As they gain confidence in collecting, their appreciation and collections grow. They understand living with art is a deep and personal relationship. It becomes a part of their story, their legacy. There is nothing “decorative” about it. 

Tundra and River both available for purchase

Orchestrating interior spaces is a foundation of well being.  Interior environment influences mood, behaviour, energy, choices, conversations, nutrition, sleep, relationships, creativity, and productivity.

Every single item in this environment will influence in ways we are just beginning to comprehend. I’ve written about some of the remarkable studies that exhibit how strongly we are affected. 

Intentional interior design doesn’t require a huge budget, rather, it requires time, observation and self knowledge. It requires a tender reflection on your desires, dreams, and what you respond to. It’s based on natural sensory experiences.

The pandemic has created a rise in demand and value for handmade items in the home. One designer wrote people are buying items that make them happy, desiring sophisticated  ‘approachable comfort”.  People yearn for positive emotional connections in their home. It’s no coincidence one of the most soothing colours, sage green is the colour of the year. 

Forest bench 18×24 $1330.oo

It’s been said humans respond more positively to handmade items more factory made. We innately feel the difference.

Robert Genn once wrote about strength of energy in each handmade creation. When manufactured thru a process of large scale reproduction mechanically, that energy becomes watered down, even disappearing in the process. It loses it’s ‘essence’.

Valley Light 20×24 $1700.oo

While orchestrating your environment, experts suggest considering air, sound and light quality, sensory experiences, choosing natural fibres and materials, and introducing biophillia ( plants, nature inspired art and design to bring a sense of the outdoors inside.)

Consider choosing tactile pieces, art, and furnishings that positively resonate and have the feel of the maker. 

Focus on the items and views you engage with daily, these are important energy feeds or depletions and not to be overlooked. Awareness is these interactions will help you be thoughtful in your considerations. 

In my personal spaces and collections, I choose elements that positively fuel my mind, body and spirit. 

I focus on function, flow and feel. 

Functioning efficiently in my home in healthy, inspiring spaces that flow, I am not only happier and more efficient myself, I have more energy for the important stuff. 

Being grounded and energized in our dwelling transfers directly to interactions, work, ideas, and self value. 

Lake Light 8×10 $550.oo

If we recognize that true interior design’s purpose is to cater to the home dwellers health and well being, perspective changes from it being toted as a luxury ideal.

Note: elements to consider in your design choices:  original art and the view they create: plants: woven textiles, like handwoven dishcloths and blankets, quilts : fibre art ( sound buffer and tactile) pottery clay dish ware: Handmade wood features & furnishings, woven wool rugs, handmade metal lighting & hardware, stained glass, or handmade blown glass.

Consider colour infusions you relate to and mimic colour in nature: colours that inspire calm are green and blue, try mixing with natural earth colours like warm gray, brown tones, siennas and fresh oatmeals to create a nature scape palette. 

Benefits of living with art~ link below

Familiar Paths

4 new commissions/ SOLD

Are familiar trails truly familiar, or only habitual? 

Do you recognize when the earth dips a little beneath your feet, or rises to meet them? When the trail tilts a little to the left?

Do you feel the undulations, however so slight?

What times of day does the light change, and how so? How do the seasons affect the light and landscape?

Being present in a space can require a depth of attention we don’t often allow ourselves.

Observing in a new way may bring new perspectives. Boredom doesn’t exist when we truly observe with focused curiosity. 

Deer have their pathways through these hills, but could I map them when I am far away from here? Exactly, where they wind and loop in the valley?

Could I replicate exactly where wild sage meets the poplars, and the interesting granite stones that dot the hillside?

I know where chickadees populate the bush, but could I walk blindfolded and recognize the moment which I would pass by the flock? 

What are you conscious of when you wander familiar pathways? 


All new commissions are places near and dear to the client’s heart. It’s a wonder to work from these amazing photos of their special places. Successful commissions are dependent on great research photos, stories of these places, and complete trust in the artist. Giving me free rein in artistic vision makes these paintings sing.

~ NEW~ Lupines 1 & 2, Wild Rose~ Path to the Sea ~ commissions, original oil on canvas~ SOLD

~ NEW~ Work in progress below..

Instrument of Peace

How do I create when there is so much suffering in the world?” an artist wrote in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. He continued, “it feels pointless and trivial to be creating and selling my art right now. It feels wrong.”

Recently artists are expressing similar feelings. 

These can be natural responses, and at times accompanied with misplaced guilt. Addressing  mental & emotional health are key to coping. It’s so important to have support systems, speak with professionals, and take self care.

Interestingly, these very artists who wrote have donated art and financial aid to humanitarian relief efforts for Ukraine. They supported health care causes during the pandemic and gave price breaks on their work during tough economic times.

The arts and humanities contribute immensely and immeasurably to medical education. As different ways of knowing, sharing, and meaning-making, the arts and humanities strengthen our understanding, inspire compassion and creativity, and stimulate our cognitive capacities.… Enriching our experience, the arts and humanities connect us with the lives and perspectives of others, proffering fundamental insights into illness and suffering, health and healing.” 

It isn’t trivial to create and share art that instills calm and healing to whoever is in it’s midst. It isn’t trivial to provide for yourself and your family doing what you love, with integrity and passion.

Artists and the arts have long been great champions of goodwill. They often play a huge part in fundraising for worthy causes. 

The arts can be great instruments of peace.

Whatever you do, do not undervalue what you bring to the world.

Positive contributions on all levels make a difference. Like, raising global thinking humanitarian children, for instance.

Every daily gesture of kindness brings peace to the world. 

Every conscious act of protecting the earth contributes to the health of humanity and all living things.

Even small moments of gratitude and joy help to relieve sorrow.

Peace and love to you all, dear friends. 

P.S One morning while visiting my parents, I struggled whether to go for my morning run. Mom’s health had declined. Confined to a wheelchair, she could no longer walk or run. I felt guilty about running when she couldn’t. She said “how exactly would that help me? I’d feel worse, knowing you have healthy legs, and yet decide not use, enjoy, or keep them strong? Do not neglect your gift, nurture and savour it.” Years later, nearing the end of her time, while I was lifting Mom from her bed, she looked down and said, “look at those beautiful strong legs of yours.” In that moment I realized, they weren’t just serving me, they were now also serving her. 

We never really know how we may be called or required to serve. It helps to have a healthy foundation and take self care, so we can. 


First painting shown~ SUN- 11×14 original oil- all proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Red Cross for Ukraine, and the United Nations High Commission for refugees Ukraine. 800.oo$


NEW- Private commission- ‘Sanctuary’ SOLD- 20×24 original oil


Mother and Baby- new- see video for story on this painting on Instagram. @Dawnartworks

Showing Up

Do you ever give yourself a break for showing up? For being present, in whatever that is or may be for you right  now?

Media says it’s been a great time to be creative. When the world ‘stopped’ the creatives got busy. With a love of isolation and without distraction, this would be the perfect storm for them. Musicians, actors, writers, painters, creatives of all genres would be busy bees in their studios while the storm passed overhead. 

The thing is, no one avoided the storm.

I have spoken to creatives that haven’t worked in over two years. Some are under so much pressure, when a project doesn’t pan out,  a normal part of process, it is felt as much more.  There is so much riding on what work is available. The struggle is real, and it’s felt. 

It’s my belief, that sometimes you need to give yourself credit for showing up. Maybe today’s work ended in the trash and the client didn’t call back, but you were present, and open. You showed up. Growth can require struggle, failure and fear. Showing up is courageous. 

Years ago a client pointed to a stack of canvas in the corner of my studio. “What ones are those?” He asked. ‘Duds” I said. “ Duds? I thought you were a professional. You should know what you are doing by now.”

I responded. “That’s how I know they are duds.”

In an art business course, artists were encouraged to create a daily mantra to help stay grounded and focused on their intention.

It’s been a very long time since I wrote this, but I still find it’s relevant. I wanted to make it simple, fun, and inclusive of daily joys.

Whatever you do, and where-ever you are, perhaps you feel like composing your own.

It’s my hope you also discover a way to thank yourself for showing up. 

Meditation is the foundation

Go for a run and get things done

Work with intention for ascension

Declutter make hearts happily aflutter

Organize to conceptualize 

Find some play for today

Be kind and be aligned 

Bike for life

Nutrition for fruition

Nature is nurture

Restore to do more

Love first, last, always.

PS. Not long out of school, while attending a friend’s wedding shower, I was introduced to an interesting diverse couple, long married with a lovely family. They had unique challenging careers and had lived on several continents. I asked them what their secret was for such a happy marriage. I never forgot the gentleman’s response. “Show up. Show up every day, no matter what the day brings. Just show up.” 


NEW work- Though One very large painting is off to the trash this week, I am very pleased with these two new paintings!!

Winter Whisper 11×14 $770.oo

Summer Forest Trail 16×20 $1,330.oo

Winter Love

The Canadian prairies are known for long cold winters.

It wasn’t a matter of liking or not liking winter, because it would come regardless. 

Living, working and surviving on the prairies is a part of living compatibly with the seasons.

Considering the extended months of winter, it may seem odd to think of February as ‘nearly spring’. 

Spring snow storms would arrive as late as May, but it wouldn’t hamper our outlook that spring was around the corner. 

As I watch the winter storm outside blowing beautiful patterns in the snow, I am reminded, spring is ‘nearly here.’

Studio view

When I lived on Vancouver Island, by this time, crocus, daffodils and hyacinth would be blooming in abundance. Cherry trees lining the waterfront would be glorious pink decadence. Colour would emerge in permanently lush green forest, and fresh scents of blossoms would intermingle with the salty sea air. 

If winter is feeling long, it can be challenging to not wish it away. It’s natural to have moments pining for days of warmth, gardens, and hearing birds at sunrise.

Anticipating the change of season can be a reprieve among perceived ‘sameness’. 

I am reluctant to leap ahead and wish time away. Spring will be beautiful, refreshing and busy. It will bring delightful change and fruition of projects. It will also bring longer work days and tasks filling lists and mind. Without the snow noise buffer, sound can be heard more clearly. The calming silence of winter becomes noisier sounds of summer activity.

Winter holds it’s own kind of sanctuary, in it’s cocooning, muffled peaceful quiet only winter snow can bring. Light reflecting periwinkle blue in early winter morning is one of my all time favourite colours. It’s the only season we see it, and it’s awe inspiring.

When I visit my home province in winter, I relish long solitary quiet forested walks. Witnessing frost clinging to branches and prairie grass in magical wonder always causes me to just absorb it all at an easy life pace. 

“Canadians don’t want winter paintings,” an art dealer told me. “They see enough of winter.” 

Yet, when I reached out on social media wondering if there was interest in winter paintings, response was a resounding ‘yes.’ 

Thanks for your encouragement and reaffirmation that I am not the only one who savours this season. 

Happy winter wanderings friends.


Work in progress below~ Please email for details on work available for purchase or to inquire about any of these original paintings. Also note there will be no price increase in 2022.